MAS chief steps down
Tony Hobman, the chief executive of the Money Advice Service, has resigned from his post, chairman Gerard Lemos has confirmed.
Mr Hobman, who was paid £350,000 a year in the post, stood down after two years following a meeting at MAS on Tuesday 3 July.
When asked why Mr Hobman resigned a MAS spokesman said he had decided to resign as “the time was right” – ahead of an imminent upgrade to the system.
However, his resignation comes as the House of Commons Treasury sub-committee is undertaking an inquiry into the FSA and MAS, after criticism that the service is too expensive and not fulfilling its launch objectives.
On 20 June, George Mudie MP, chairman of the sub-committee, questioned the funding for a key part of the service, a costly “health check” financial advice tool, and asked Mr Hobman why he had not previously disclosed of an internal report into the tool’s failure to achieve its objectives. Mr Mudie called the non-disclosure “unacceptable”.
In a statement on Mr Hobman’s resignation, MAS chairman Mr Lemos said the board would conduct an “immediate review of the future role and remuneration of its chief executive”.
He referred to criticism of the level of Mr Hobman’s pay, which led FSA chairman Lord Turner at the same Treasury sub-committee meeting on 20 June to state it was “a bit too high” at double the remuneration of the prime minister. He will serve a six-month notice period and the MAS intends to identify a successor by the autumn.
Mr Hobman said: “I will leave with mixed feelings but am reassured in the knowledge that the service employs dedicated people working energetically and creatively to help the millions of people who fall into the advice gap every day.”
Gill Cardy, managing director of the IFA Centre, said: “I suspect that, with a review of the service and its role, now was a good time to move on, so that remuneration and the actual role of the chief executive could be reviewed.”
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